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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

Representing Linguistic Knowledge With Probabilistic Models

Colloquium | February 16 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Stephan Meylan, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Ph.D. Exit Talk

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: 3rd year talks

Colloquium | February 20 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Paul Krueger, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley; Maria Eckstein, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Monday, February 26, 2018

Scalable Imaging of Molecular Order

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | February 26 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Shalin Mehta, PhD, Platform Leader, Advanced Optical Microscopy, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Abstract: Nanoscale alignment of molecules, or molecular order, underpins the directed functions of cells. Cells have the fascinating capacity of creating and sustaining molecular order at the expense of chemical energy, as illustrated by the planar organization of the lipid membrane and the three-dimensional organization of chromatin, cytoskeleton, and extracellular matrix. The molecular order...   More >

Measuring activity of cortical layers in human brain with CBV-fMRI: method and first applications

Seminar: BIC Seminar | February 26 | 4-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

Laurentius Huber, Postdoc Fellow at Section on Functional Imaging Methods, NIMH, NIH

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Layer-dependent fMRI allows measurements of information flow in cortical circuits, as afferent and efferent connections terminate in different cortical layers.
However, conventional high-resolution fMRI is challenged by its reactively high noise level and limited localization specificity of large draining veins.
In this presentation, I will discuss some recent methodological advancements of...   More >

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: 3rd year talks

Colloquium | February 27 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Nick Angelides, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley; Vinitha Rangarajan, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Monday, March 5, 2018

​Graduate Students Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 5 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Vasha Dutell, Bruno Olshausen Lab; Emilia Zin, John Flannery Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Vasha Dutell’s Talk Title: Natural Visual Signals and Heterogeneous Networks Optimized to Process Them

Abstract: One of the many mysteries of the retina is its great diversity of neuron types and subtypes. An example of this is the many retinal ganglion cells subtypes that independently tile visual space, creating multiple pathways that transmit different aspects of visual information to the...   More >

Circuitry and Mathematical Codes for Navigation in the Brain

Lecture | March 5 | 4-5 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium

Ila Fiete, University of Texas at Austin

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

I will review key aspects of the problem of navigation and describe the brain's circuits that participate in navigation. These circuits contain cells with remarkable responses to spatial variables, and include head-direction cells, grid cells, and place cells. I'll illustrate the head-direction circuit and code across species from insects to mammals. I'll focus on the bizzare, non-local, periodic...   More >

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: 3rd year talks

Colloquium | March 6 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Joe Winer, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley; Christina Merrick, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Peripheral Representations for computational models of Human and Machine Perception

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | March 8 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Arturo Deva, UC Santa Barbara

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Are there any benefits in incorporating the foveated nature of human vision into image-based metrics of perception and computer vision systems? In this talk I hope to advance our understanding of this question through my work via psychophysical experiments (eye-tracking), computational modelling, and computer vision.

The first part of the talk will revolve around peripheral representations...   More >

Friday, March 9, 2018

Dopamine Diversity: Tasks, Projections and Channels

Seminar | March 9 | 3-4 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

Dr. Jochen Roeper, Director, Institute of Neurophysiology, Goethe University Frankfurt

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Dopamine (DA) midbrain neurons that in reside in the two neighboring nuclei substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) have segregated according to their axonal projections into several mostly parallel systems with different functions in the control of action, reward-based learning and cognition. In vivo electrophysiology in awake freely moving mice demonstrates...   More >

Gaze and Locomotion in Natural Terrains

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 9 | 4-5 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Mary Hayhoe, Professor, Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas Austin

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Abstract: Eye movements in the natural world reflect the information needs of the momentary behavioral goals, the rewards and costs associated with those goals, and uncertainty about the state of the world. We examine how these factors trade off in the context of walking outdoors in terrains of varying difficulty, a situation where little is known about how visual and locomotor systems work...   More >

Monday, March 12, 2018

Beyond New Neurons: The Secretory Role of Adult Hippocampal Stem and Progenitor Cells

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | March 12 | 9-10:30 a.m. | 445 Li Ka Shing Center

Dr. Liz Kirby, Assistant Professor at OSU

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

In the adult mammalian hippocampus, resident neural stem and progenitor cells give rise to new, highly plastic neurons. A great deal of research has focused on the role of these new neurons in supporting hippocampal memory function and injury response. However, our recent work shows that undifferentiated neural stem and progenitor cells also have functional relevance by secreting soluble...   More >

​Graduate Students Talk

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 12 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Nevin El Nimri; Patrick Carney

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Comparative Neurobiology of Social Bonds - from Rodents to Primates to Humans

Colloquium | March 12 | 12:10-1:10 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall

Karen Bales, Department of Psychology, UC Davis

Department of Psychology

Social bonds are critical to human health and well-being. However, most of what we know regarding the neurobiology of strong, selective social bonds ("pair-bonds") comes from a socially monogamous rodent, the prairie vole. In my laboratory, we also study a socially monogamous primate, the titi monkey, as a model for the neurobiology of pair bond formation and maintenance. We have characterized...   More >

Core Cognitive Mechanisms in Learning and Development

Colloquium | March 12 | 3-4:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Celeste Kidd, Assistant Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

The talk will discuss approaches aimed at understanding the computational mechanisms that drive learning and development in young children. Although infants are born knowing little about the world, they possess remarkable learning mechanisms that eventually create sophisticated systems of knowledge. We discuss recent empirical findings about learners’ cognitive mechanisms—including attention,...   More >

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Impact of Mental State Inferences for Legal Outcomes

Colloquium | March 16 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Carly Giffin, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Ph.D. Exit Talk

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Science Lecture - Unlocking the secrets of brain aging

Lecture | March 17 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Building

Daniela Kaufer, Neuroscience & Integrative Biology


Aging can involve a decline in neural function that impairs cognition and contributes to neurological diseases. However, the biological mechanisms that cause the transition from a young-and-healthy to aged-and-dysfunctional brain are not well understood. In this talk, Dr. Kaufer will describe recent findings from her lab which identified a novel mechanism underlying this transition. She will also...   More >

All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

Monday, March 19, 2018

Seeing where we’re going: a retinal code for self-motion

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 19 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Dr. David Berson, Professor of Medical Science, Chair of NeuroScience, Brown University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Abstract: Self-motion triggers complementary visual and vestibular reflexes supporting image-stabilization and balance. Translation through space produces one global pattern of retinal image motion (optic flow), rotation another. We show that each subtype of direction-selective ganglion cell (DSGC) adjusts its direction preference topographically to align with specific translatory optic flow...   More >

Spike inference for genetically encoded calcium indicators with models of multistep binding kinetics

Seminar | March 19 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 177 Life Sciences Addition

Dr. David Greenberg, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research, Bonn, Germany

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Multiphoton imaging of genetically encoded calcium indicators can detect action potential (AP) evoked fluorescence changes from populations of spatially resolved neurons, but the nonlinear dependence of fluorescence on AP counts and variable indicator expression across neurons make quantitative inference problematic. We developed a biophysical model of GCaMP6s in neurons based on the...   More >

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Grounds for Science-The deceptiveness of perception

Presentation | March 23 | 6:30-8 p.m. |  Scarlet City Espresso Bar

3960 Adeline, Emeryville, CA 94608

Dylan Paiton, Vision Science Graduate Group


Optical illusions and visual hallucinations are highly unusual. How is it that we are able to see something that is not really there? Dylan will outline standard methods that neuroscientists use to better understand how our brains process light, and introduce a theory for conscious vision that has guided decades of computational and experimental neuroscience.

All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

“Stability and Flexibility in Motor Networks”

Seminar | March 28 | 12-1 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center | Note change in location

Michael Long, New York University School of Medicine

Bioengineering (BioE)

For us to interact with the outside world, our brains must plan and dictate our actions and behaviors. In many cases, we learn to reproducibly execute a well-defined series of muscle movements to perform impressive feats, such as hitting a golf ball or playing the violin. In other cases, however, we are required to adjust our behavior to account for uncertain sensory information from the world...   More >

Monday, April 2, 2018

Rhythms for Cognition: Communication through Coherence

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | April 2 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Pascal Fries, Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Free viewing of natural images induces gamma-band oscillations in early visual cortex. If the gamma rhythm in a lower visual area entrains a gamma rhythm in a higher visual area, this might establish an effective communication protocol: The lower area sends a representation of the visual stimulus rhythmically, and the higher area is most excitable precisely when this representation arrives. At...   More >

Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms linking Early Adversity with Adolescent Psychopathology

Colloquium | April 2 | 12:10-1:10 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall

Kate McLaughlin, Department of Psychology, University of Washington

Institute of Human Development

Children who have experienced environmental adversity—such as abuse, neglect, or poverty—are at markedly elevated risk for developing psychopathology. What is less clear is how and why adverse early experiences exert such a profound influence on mental health. Identifying developmental processes that are disrupted by adverse early environments is the key to developing better intervention...   More >

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Informed Approaches to Deep Learning via Neural Networks with Random Parameters

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | April 3 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Yasaman Bahri, Google Brain

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Obtaining a better understanding of neural networks with random parameters is relevant for deep learning practice — for instance, by informing good initializations — and is a natural first step in building a more complete base of knowledge within deep learning. I will survey some of our recent work at Google Brain which originated from the study of random neural networks. [1]. I’ll begin by...   More >

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Biology of Bedtime: Understanding Circadian Rhythms and Sleep

Seminar | April 5 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition

Amita Sehgal, University of Pennsylvania

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Friday, April 6, 2018

“Resource-Rational Attention Allocation”

Colloquium | April 6 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Fred Callaway, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

One of two 30 min research talks by graduate students.

Monday, April 9, 2018

​Graduate Students Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | April 9 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Stephanie Wan, UC Berkeley, Fleiszig Lab; Kathryn Bonnen, University of Texas at Austin, Huk Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Stephanie Wan’s Talk Title: Impact of contact lens wear and dry eye on the amicrobiomic status of the murine cornea

Abstract: Contrasting with the conjunctiva and other exposed body surfaces, the cornea does not host a stable bacterial population (amicrobiomic). Yet, the cornea and conjunctiva are not usually distinguished in ocular surface microbiome research. Additionally, commonly used...   More >

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: Computational dysfunctions in anxiety: Failure to differentiate signal from noise

Colloquium | April 10 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Martin Paulus, Scientific Director and President, Laureate Institute for Brain Research

Department of Psychology

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Tale of Two Strains: Ocular Studies in B6 and BALB/c Mice

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | April 16 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Elizabeth Berger, PhD, Professor, Wayne State University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Abstract: Corneal infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa perforates the cornea in C57BL/6 (B6), but not BALB/c mice. Comparative analysis of these two responses has revealed that B6 mice, type 1-dominant responders, exhibit increased inflammation, leading to an exacerbated disease response when compared to BALB/c mice, which demonstrate a less severe/resistant response and are classified as type...   More >

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: Neural oscillations: What we're doing wrong

Colloquium | April 17 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Brad Voytek, Professor, Department of Cognitive Science, UCSD

Department of Psychology

Friday, April 20, 2018

Optogenetic and Chemogenetic Tools for Mapping Molecular and Cellular Circuits: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar | April 20 | 2-3 p.m. | 60 Evans Hall

Prof. Alice Ting, Stanford University, Genetics/Biology/Chemistry

Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute

The first part of the talk will describe optogenetic tools we have developed for labeling and manipulating functional circuits in the brain (e.g., FLARE and related tools).

The second part of the talk will describe chemogenetic tools we have developed for mapping molecular interactions in living cells (e.g., APEX and TurboID).

Alice Ting did her PhD in Chem here at UC Berkeley...   More >

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mobilizing Synaptic Plasticity to Promote Recovery from Amblyopia

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | April 23 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Dr. Mark Bear, PhD, PiCower Professor of Neuroscience, MIT

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Amblyopia is a prevalent form of visual disability that arises during infancy and early childhood when inputs to the visual cortex from the two eyes are poorly balanced (e.g., by misalignment of the eyes, asymmetric refraction, or opacities and obstructions of one eye). Characteristics of amblyopia are very poor acuity in one eye, and an attendant loss of stereopsis. The current standard of care...   More >

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Deciphering the Dynamics of the Unconscious Brain Under General Anesthesia

Seminar | April 26 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition

Emery Brown , Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Friday, April 27, 2018

Education, plasticity and learning: the virtuous cycle between education and neuroscience

Lecture | April 27 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall

Jason D. Yeatman, PhD, Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences, University of Washington

Department of Psychology

Reading instruction prompts the emergence of neural circuits that are specialized for rapidly translating printed symbols into sound and meaning. Understanding how these circuits differ in children with dyslexia, and change with learning, is an important scientific challenge that holds practical implications for education. In this talk I will present new data linking changes in the white matter...   More >

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Perturbation and Control of Human Brain Network Dynamics

Seminar | May 3 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition

Dani Bassett, University of Pennsylvania

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Abstract: The human brain is a complex organ characterized by heterogeneous patterns of interconnections. New non-invasive imaging techniques now allow for these patterns to be carefully and comprehensively mapped in individual humans, paving the way for a better understanding of how wiring supports our thought processes. While a large body of work now focuses on descriptive statistics to...   More >

Monday, May 7, 2018

Oxyopia - Graduate Student Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | May 7 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Paul Cullen, John Flanagan Lab; Brian Cheung, Bruno Olshausen Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Paul Cullen
John Flanagan Lab
Title: The Secret Lives of Retinal Astrocytes
Abstract: The study of glia – the support cells of the central nervous system – has come a long way since Rudolf Virchow described a connective tissue of the brain that he termed ‘nervenkitt’ in 1856. Rather than a passive scaffolding for neurons (the word ‘glia’ means glue in Greek), these cells are responsible for a...   More >

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Expander graph architectures for high-capacity neural memory

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | May 22 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Rishidev Chaudhuri, UT Austin/Simons Institute UC Berkeley

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Memory networks in the brain must balance two competing demands. On the one hand, they should have high capacity to store the large numbers of stimuli an organism must remember over a lifetime. On the other hand, noise is ubiquitous in the brain and memory is typically retrieved from incomplete input. Thus, memories must be encoded with some redundancy, which reduces capacity. Current neural...   More >

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Characterizing neurons in the visual area V4 through interpretable machine learning

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | May 23 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Reza Abbasi-Asl, UC Berekely

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

In the past decade, research in machine learning has been exceedingly focused on the development of algorithms and models with remarkably high predictive capabilities. Models such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have achieved state-of-the-art predictive performance for many tasks in computer vision, autonomous driving, and transfer learning in areas such as computational neuroscience....   More >

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Inference and Efficient Coding in Natural Auditory Scenes

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | May 30 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Wiktor Mlynarski, MIT

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Processing of natural stimuli in sensory systems has been traditionally studied within two theoretical frameworks: probabilistic inference and efficient coding. Probabilistic inference specifies optimal strategies for learning about relevant properties of the environment from local and ambiguous sensory signals. Efficient coding provides a normative approach to study encoding of natural stimuli...   More >

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Eavesdropping on Cortical Plasticity

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | June 14 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

Adi Mizrahi, The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

One of the overarching goal in our lab is to understand cortical plasticity in adult circuits. This goal remains challenging because cortical neurons are functionally heterogeneous and access to specific active neurons for further experimentation is limited. In the primary auditory cortex (A1), for example, spiking responses to natural stimuli like vocalization cannot be easily predicted from...   More >

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Optimal sensors in random environments

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | June 20 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Sarah Marzen, MIT

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

The efficient coding hypothesis has revolutionized theoretical neuroscience. I would argue that it is best understood using rate-distortion theory. I use rate-distortion theory to inspire a simple model of sensory adaptation. In randomly drawn, fluctuating environments, this model suggests that neurogenesis in sensory regions is unnecessary and predicts that biological sensors are poised to just...   More >

Monday, June 25, 2018

Expression of ethanol sensitive glycine receptors in several brain regions

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | June 25 | 2-3:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

Luis Aguayo, University of Concepcion, Chile

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Synaptic glycine receptors (GlyR) are expressed primarily in spinal cord and brain stem neurons. GlyRs are sensitive to general anesthetics, neurosteroids, Zn2+ and ethanol. Recently, GlyRs were also found in other supratentorial regions, but their properties are largely unknown. Mesolimbic regions, such as ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (nAc), were also found to express GlyRs...   More >